Oligarch Roman Abramovich Sends Superyacht to Turkey to Avoid Sanctions

Roman Abramovich, one of the Russian oligarchs currently targeted with sanctions, has docked his superyacht in Turkey.

According to shipping data obtained by Reuters, a superyacht affiliated with the billionaire arrived in the city of Bodrum on Monday. It had recently departed waters near the European Union, which has enacted sanctions against him.

The ship, named Solaris, is 460 feet long and sails under a Bermuda flag. Ship monitor Marine Traffic says that the ship was previously docked in Barcelona until March 8.

While Turkey is not officially a member of the European Union, the country is considered a "candidate country" for a probable future inauguration. Because of this, it is unknown whether or not the country is able to hand over the yacht for seizure to the EU. Multiple yachts listed under the names of Russian oligarchs affected by EU and U.S. sanctions have been seized recently, including those owned by Alisher Usmanov and Sergei Chemezov, among others.

Newsweek previously reported that Abramovich was most recently seen in Moscow, having returned from Israel via his private jet after sanctions against him were announced. This move is in contrast to other affected oligarchs, who are reportedly heading out of Russia to cities such as Dubai after Russian President Vladimir Putin released a rant about oligarchs with Western ties.

"I do not judge those with villas in Miami or the French Riviera, or [those] who can't get by without oysters or foie gras or so-called 'gender freedoms,'" Putin said on March 16. "The problem is they mentally exist there, and not here, with our people, with Russia."

Solaris
Superyacht Solaris, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, allegedly docked in the Turkish city of Bodrum on March 21. Above, Solaris sails toward the luxury yacht marina Porto Montenegro, near the Montenegrin city of Tivat on the Adriatic coast, on March 12. Photo by Savo Prelevic/AFP via Getty Images

Shortly before the sanctions were revealed, he announced plans to sell off his football club, Chelsea FC.

"As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the club's best interest at heart," Abramovich previously wrote in a statement. "In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club's sponsors and partners."

Due to the club not yet being sold, the still-active team is facing some restrictions but has been allowed to continue playing events. However, these woes might be eased soon as the Ricketts family, the owners of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, recently announced that they are putting in a bid for the team.

"As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community," the family said in a statement. "We look forward to sharing further details of our plans in due course."

Newsweek has reached out to the local government of Bodrum and the Bodrum Cruise Port for comment but has yet to receive a response.

Update at 3/21/22, 1:03 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.